A brief History of CSTV

Channel Sea Television Logo

Beginnings: Big Boat Series & TRANSPAC

Channel Sea Television was created in 1983 by Leslie DeMeuse and Phil Uhl.The original name for the company was SEA TV, but due to a conflict with Canadian TV it was suggested that they change it to Channel SEA. The first offices were in San Francisco (Mariners Square in Alameda) and at Century Center in Honolulu.

In 1984 Phil & Leslie, along with local San Francisco videographer Vincent Casalaina, produced the program "White on Water" for KQED in San Francisco. The show, based on St. Francis "Big Boat Series"  was nominated for, and received an EMMY in the Sports programming category for that year.

Charlie finishing the 1983 Transpac


In 1983 CSTV produced their first TRANSPAC video for Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, who had entered his new yacht "Charlie" in the  bi-annual race. In 1985 they produced their first TRANSPAC banquet video which became a tradition after every event until 2007. 

Pan Am Clipper / Kenwood Cup Series

In 1986 The Kenwood Corporation took over the sponsorship of the Pan Am Clipper Cup, which was first held in 1978 and had grown to be a successful and prestigious yachting event. Uhl, who worked with Pan Am and the organizers to establish and promote the series around the world, was also responsible for the Awards Banquet slide show at the end of each event.

With the Kenwood Corporation now involved, DeMeuse and Uhl - and new partner Karou Soehata from Japan, agreed to carry on the Clipper Cup Banquet tradition. For the new KENWOOD CUP SERIES, however, they would produce a video presentation instead of a slide show. And so beginning with "Pacific Passion" in 1986, CSTV produced a program every other year for the next 12  years. The 15 to 20 minute programs the CSTV crew created were, at the time,  the most exciting yacht racing videos most sailors had ever seen. The series became  a great success world wide, in a large part due to the exciting footage CSTV captured and distributed to the worlds TV networks. Meantime, in the odd years, CSTV continued to produce  similar programs for the TRANSPAC Awards Banquet.

The KENWOOD CUP Hawaii Ocean Racing Series quickly became the event everyone wanted to attend.  By  1990 the Series had joined  the Admirals Cup, and the Sydney Hobart / Southern Cross Series, as the best yacht racing series events in the world.

Due to  their consistent ability to produce exciting sailing programs in Hawaii, ESPN, fresh from  their very successful coverage of the America's Cup in Fremantle Australia, took notice.   The result being that DeMeuse  (CSTV LA) took on the challenge of producing  additional  programs on both the KENWOOD CUP and TRANSPAC events. 

1998 Kenwood Cup

The America's Cup

In 1991 Gary Jobson, who had worked with CSTV on the 88 Kenwood Cup as the host for their PBS  Special  "Racing the Winds of Paradise" , called Phil and asked him if he would be interested in working for a new America's Cup Syndicate that he was putting together for Bill Koch.  

Phil flew out to SanDiego  to take a look and ended up participating  in a two week training session with the crew. He returned home with a new client and title  "Director of Television Services" for the America 3 Foundation. By spring of 1991 he had flown most of the CSTV Hawaii production Studio in two rented DELTA containers to San Diego.

In San Diego, Phil was responsible for building a BETACAM TV studio and producing daily video coverage of the team -on and off the water. The footage, and programs created with it,  would be used for training, public relations / fund Raising, and keeping track of what the competitors were up to. By the Late summer of '91, Uhl had moved to San Diego full time and went to work 12 - 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

When it was all over at the end of May in 1992,  Uhl had produced the largest and most detailed audio/visual archive of an America's Cup Team ever created. Bill Koch and the A 3 team of over 250 individuals, won the 1992 Cup for the U.S. by beating the Italians 4 races to 1. 

Meanwhile, at CSTV  in Los Angeles, Leslie DeMeuse signed on as producer for Dennis Connor's "Road to the America's Cup" series of programs  for Prime Sports Network, and continued to produce special "America's Cup Update" specials for ESPN.      

CSTV TOKYO also got in on the America's Cup action when Soehata, who was now the number one yachting photographer / cameraman in Japan, teamed up with the Nippon Challenge Syndicate to produce stills and video coverage of Japan's challenge for the 1992 America's Cup. 

America3 1992

Still to come:

The A3 Women's Team makes history

At the Helm with Bill Koch and John Bertrand in New Zealand

The end of the worlds major Ocean Racing Series events

Disney & DeMeuse produce the 100 Year TRANSPAC Documentary  

Morning Light 

Phil Uhl & Daniel Forster in San Diego

A Century Across the Pacific

CSTV Crew for the 2003 TRANSPAC


CSTV filming Pywacket

CSTV  Pywacket

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